Dayton grads say farewell | NevadaAppeal.com

Dayton grads say farewell

Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Melanie Reale, left, laughs with Rachel Hurt during the Dayton High School Commencement on Thursday night.

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The 133 graduates of Dayton High left behind the school that held them together for four years during Thursday evening’s commencement ceremony. But they vowed to stay close in spirit.

“Our friendship is strong,” said Joanna Jones, 18, hanging out with friends before marching onto the football field. “You don’t have to live close to someone to know you love them. Our love will always be there.”

Principal Teri White addressed the graduates, taking them back to their first assembly in freshman year and through the milestones of the years that followed.

“Look at you today,” she concluded. “The changes are remarkable. You should be very proud. You are high school graduates.”

Nearly $950,000 in scholarships were awarded to the class of 2003, including 75 Millennium Scholarships, which are awarded to all Nevada seniors graduating with at least a “B” average.

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But class president Kimberly Yeoman said she was most proud of the friendships formed among her classmates.

Yeoman plans to attend Brigham Young University in the fall to major in social work with a minor in Spanish

“We’re a really diverse group, we’re such individuals,” she said. “But we all get along. It doesn’t make sense why we all get along, but we do. It’s going to really hard to leave people behind. It’s like a second family.”

When salutatorian Melanie Reale expressed nervousness about speaking to such a large crowd, a friend encouraged her with “Just look at the class, not at the audience, just look at us.”

Valedictorians Nick McQueen and Tara Shea re-enacted the first time they m et when McQueen moved to Dayton from Arizona.

“Who is this girl, she thinks she’s going to be valedictorian or something,” McQueen recalled jokingly. “I’ll show her.”

As the graduates prepared to go their separate ways, Christine Macall, 17, said she is confident their lives will turn out well.

“We’re really lively, we like to have fun,” she said. “Whatever we do after high school, we’ll make it fun. We’ll live happy.”

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